Evolution of Prison Design

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Prisons were built and operated in the first generation style from the 18th century until the 1960s. They were designed around corridors of small cells with some bullpens for communal holding. There was little separation of types of criminals and surveillance was dependent on direct visibility, therefore was very limited. Inmates were kept locked in their cells, away from toilet, shower, and laundry facilities for most of their time. Disease was common. There was very little contact between jailers and jailed; most interaction was with cellmates. Little staff was required but safety of inmates and general security suffered from the lack of supervision. With nothing to keep them busy, inmates were generally either lethargic or acted out in violence against each other. There were few alternatives. Modern architecture and design are changing things.  

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